10 Questions with Felicity D. Tchoufa23 Nov 2022 2022-11-24 14:19
10 Questions with Felicity D. Tchoufa
Dear Reve Today family, friends, partners and community! All days are special but today is Thanksgiving! As the holidays officially begin for us, we take a moment to appreciate all of you. We are back with some meaningful and interesting interviews for the season. As you enjoy a glass of wine, with some stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, enjoy this exclusive interview too!
Reve Insiders is an exclusive network of global leaders, businesses, brands, professionals and creatives.
Our 10 Questions Series is all about exploring creativity, quality and wellness. Last year we had the privilege of interviewing some phenomenal people across several industries. You can visit our blog to check them out.
Remember: Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
With that said, this Thanksgiving, we share our interview with our friend, mother of four, owner of Bonday, a lifestyle boutique in North Bethesda MD, Lifestyle and Intelligence Coach, Designer of Felicity T Purses and Shoes, phenomenal entrepreneur and Founder of FELICITY IMPACT. She has a passion to ignite, inspire, impact and influence. We introduce you to the stunning Felicity D. Tchoufa. Felicity wears many hats, some of these hats also include being the co-chair of the Women’s Networking Group with The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, PR for MBI Consulting (Bethesda based Company) and a Division A Director for District 36 (Toastmasters International). Let’s jump right in!
10 QUESTIONS WITH Felicity Tchoufa | Reve Insiders
REVE INSIDERS: Felicity, first, allow us to congratulate you on your new business! We are tremendously proud of you and from the looks of it, the ribbon cutting ceremony was done beautifully! You also did a recent interview where you shared that you just recently launched Felicity Impact (A platform that provides tools on how to attract well-being and wealth) What was the reason for launching a platform of this nature and what are some of the latest business projects and activities that you have actively been involved in?
Felicity Tchoufa: I was born and raised in Cameroon. I grew up in an environment that prohibits girls and women from putting themselves first.
As a little girl, I regularly heard that girls do not raise their voice and that they must help with chores. Meanwhile, boys were treated like little princesses. Those little princesses are our husbands today. As a result, I spent most of my adult life trying to please people, putting myself on the back burner, seeking validation and approval from those around me.
As a mom, wife, and entrepreneur, I would take care of the family everyday. I would wear several hats as I have seen my mom and aunts do. It is part of the African culture for women to assume multiple responsibilities in the family on top of their profession. In the process, I forgot to take care of myself. During the lockdown, I was having candid conversations with friends back home and realized that they were going through similar frustrations.
This is where I got the idea to create a safe space for women to support each other, connect, share, learn, and discover how wonderful, brilliant, and worthy they are. That was the beginning of Felicity Impact. I am a stepping stone in the path of self discovery. It is a path that I know, because I have gone through it. I am not done walking this path… My role is to offer support and provide the tools they need to take charge of their lives. I launched Felicity Impact because women, in general, struggle with things that hold them back.
Everyday I meet tons of brilliant women who don’t believe in their own capability and value. They don’t see themselves as ready. I was once in the same boat. Felicity Impact addresses those struggles. It is a powerful safe space that is designed to remove all blocks and barriers on the path of success and well-being. We meet once a month through zoom. Our goal is to move from powerless to powerful. We want to achieve extreme results in all aspects of our lives. If you want to learn more about the journey of self discovery, join our monthly Women’s International Networking Group: Visit www.felicityimpact.com
REVE INSIDERS: Growing up in Cameroon, what were some of your fondest memories and
biggest dreams as a young girl?
Felicity Tchoufa: I come from an entrepreneurial family. I have seen my mom sell goods whilst having a full time job. I helped out after school and that is how the seed was planted. I had always told my friends I would be my own boss. I have launched a handbag and purse line, Felicity T. Please check it out. This line is one of my accomplishments that I am most proud of. You can now find my bags in a few stores in Maryland and DC as well as on my website www.lebonday.com.
REVE INSIDERS: The message and mission of your business, LeBonday LLC (Bonday Boutique) that celebrates treasures from around the world and empowers artisans is powerful. What is your advice to women across the globe who are experiencing a deep sense of self-doubt, lack of ambition or motivation? How can they shift their mindset, begin to see and play big too? Go from powerless to powerful and reach their full potential?
Felicity Tchoufa: We struggle with what holds us back: self doubt, fear, anger, insecurities, and self limitations… Our struggles become the blocks and barriers on our path to success.
Everything starts with us, knowing who we are, understanding our strengths and weaknesses. Doubt and fear will prevent us from playing big and taking risks. How do we move past those limitations, fear, and doubts to create the careers and lives we want for ourselves? When we decide to embark on the journey of self discovery, we become aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we understand what triggers the ‘NO’, we make the decision to move past our doubts, we take charge of our destiny and unlock the mystery of self discovery to our victory.
As women, we have shown resilience. We are conquerors and victorious. We carry the entire humanity on our shoulder. We are ready to lead ourselves and impact our environment positively. It stars by believing in our capacity and being audacious.
REVE INSIDERS: When did you have your “lightbulb moment” about wellness and well-being?
Throughout the many challenges that you encountered, at what point did you realize that you were in dire need of a change, a fresh start, that you needed to set boundaries and put yourself first?
Felicity Tchoufa: The light bulb moment came during the lockdown. I was eating junk and wasn’t sleeping much, I was so stressed, I put on 30 pounds, and got high blood pressure. It scared me.
I knew I had to make some changes in my lifestyle. Loving myself has been the game changer. Embracing me with my flaws. I had to take responsibility for getting to that low point . By doing so I was able to start making some little changes in my life style, diet…etc. within 3 months, I had lost 30 pounds, took some breathing exercise classes. As a result, I got off blood pressure meds, I was able to say no and be okay with it. I started prioritizing my self care. All of the sudden I had reactivated the power within me . Today I am empowered and everyday I feel powerful.
REVE INSIDERS: As a follow up question to the previous question, what did you do to prioritize your well-being and how are you continuing to do so? How do you show up and what is your secret for being SO OPTIMISTIC?
Felicity Tchoufa: I show up everyday with audacity and authenticity.
With optimism, humility, and gratitude. I am grateful everyday for the freedom I found in the U.S.A.
A country of opportunity compared to where I come from. I know I can do it, I know the hard work pays off. I believe it is important to live in the present moment, to look ahead, to believe in yourself and never look back, to never dwell on what you lost yesterday or who hurt you because the present moment is full of optimism and builds a brighter tomorrow.
I love what I do. I love helping others, I volunteer a lot. I belong to many networking groups and I am involved in my community. I define myself as a servant leader. I have mastered time, leadership, which is about defining my purpose and objectives in every circumstance, then prioritizing. The next step is about categorizing your priorities and allocating a block of time to these categories. Time becomes your best friend. Every single day I make sure I have made an impact on my own life or the life of someone else. I ask myself “How do I get better, how do I do better?” Those questions empower me to be a better version of myself.
REVE INSIDERS: You grew up with an incredible woman, your mother who you have credited as your main source of inspiration, together with your husband. It is said that families are the compass that guides us.
Felicity Tchoufa: We all live in different places. We make sure we see each other once a year for our family reunion. We chose Thanksgiving as the time for a family gathering.
I am the lucky one because I host the family reunion every year. Everyone else flies out from Europe and Africa. It is a big celebration with a lot of laughs, chatting, and sleepless nights.
REVE INSIDERS: As an entrepreneur, what does a typical day in the life of Felicity Tchoufa look like or what does your ideal day look like?
Felicity Tchoufa: I am intentional about the way I spend my time, thus my day. My day starts the night before as I plan for the next day. I write my to do list and I prioritize my tasks according to the 80/20 rule of the Pareto Principle.
I am the project manager of my day. I have a set of activities to do and goals to meet. I wake up around 5 am. My first task is to feed my mind and spirit with good seed and get grounded. I first proclaim how grateful I am for every single breath I am taking, then I start my meditation, breathing exercises and prayer. After that, it is mom duty; I wake up my twin girls and make sure they get out of the house on time for school. I then take the opportunity to get my coffee and a fresh carrot and ginger juice with lime.
My third task is my body. By that time, my husband is up and together we either hit the gym or go out for a long walk. This is our time to catch up and enjoy each other’s company. Only then can I move on to task 4, a shower. I love what I am doing. I have the privilege of being my own boss, so I can decide when I start. I will go over my to do list again to make sure I have tackled and prioritized the first 20% on my list. I go by Pareto, so that 20% must be addressed before anything else. Once I am sure that I have done that, I start checking my email and soon after, it is time to start my first meeting or make my first phone call.
The last stop of my day is family time. I make sure I am back by 4pm when my girls get back from school. I check homework, prep snacks, and make dinner. Once they go to bed around 9, it is me time again. I can enjoy a glass of wine while watching the news.
REVE INSIDERS: You mentioned in a recent interview with The Greater Bethesda of Commerce that you’re a great cook, and that when you were done with school, you would help your mum cook for 10-15 people! What is your ultimate and favorite traditional dish to prepare?
Felicity Tchoufa: I come from an environment where girls are taught to help their mom with the chores. My mom taught me how to cook at an early age. I also learned how to cook French meals when I was in grad school in Paris. My friend’s dad was a great cook, who taught me as well. My favorite traditional dish is called Ndole. It is made out of spinach, peanuts, meat, and stuck fish. Here is the link on how to cook ndole: https://www.africanbites.com/ndole/
REVE INSIDERS: Back to Bonday Boutique, how did you come up with the name for your new store and business?
Felicity Tchoufa: The name Bonday is a mix of French and English.
Bon, the french word for ‘Good’ is combined with the English word ‘day’, giving us a ‘good day’. I chose Bonday for the boutique because I want each customer to leave the store with a ‘good day’ feeling.
REVE INSIDERS: With the holiday season around the corner, it’s gift time too! We know that you have some new and handpicked items in store. Can you share your best recommendations and ideas for gifting this year?
Felicity Tchoufa: My best recommendation for gifting this year is to give a gift to yourself. It all starts with us. I want each one of you to first fall in love with yourself again. The gift begins with you. Where you are no matter the state, no matter what you go through, learn to love you. Love yourself more each day. When you do so you feel better, your life get better and you can then gift someone else with what you have.